Rhode Island School Requirements for Children's Vision

  • Rhode Island requires a vision screening
  • Frequency: Student upon entry to school and in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 9th grades

Requires a vision screening upon entering kindergarten or within thirty (30) days of the start of the school year. The parent or guardian of each child shall present to school health personnel certification that the child, within the previous twelve (12) months has passed a vision screening conducted by a health care professional licensed by the Department or has obtained a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. For children who fail to pass the vision screening and for children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental delay, proof of a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist indicating any pertinent diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, recommendation and evidence of follow-up treatment, if necessary, shall be provided.

Every student shall be given a vision screening at least upon entry to school and in the first (1st), second (2nd), third (3rd), fourth (4th), fifth (5th), seventh (7th) and ninth (9th) grades. Any person who conducts a comprehensive eye examination of a child in response to such child having failed a vision screening given in accordance with the provisions of this section shall forward a written report of the results of the examination to the school health personnel and a copy of said report to a parent or guardian of such child and the child's primary health care provider. If satisfactory evidence is presented to the school physician or certified school nurse teacher that the same screening, or series of tests, as provided for herein, has been completed within the preceding twelve (12) months by the student's ophthalmologist, optometrist, or primary care provider, the student shall be exempt from this screening requirement for that school year.

Regular reporting to the Departments of Health and Education on the results of examinations shall be made. The school vision screening shall be given by a certified school nurse-teacher, trained in the administration of these tests. Trained volunteers or other school personnel who are directly supervised on-site by certified school nurse-teachers may be utilized in the vision screening program. A child failing the screening shall be given a retest on a different day (but within one month) before the parents are notified of the results of the test. Students who fail the screening criteria set shall be re-screened by the certified school nurse-teacher. Parents of those students who fail to meet the minimal visual requirements on the second screening shall be notified in order to arrange for a comprehensive vision examination by an eye care provider. If the corrected visual acuity of the child is found to be in the range of 20/70--20/200 in the better eye after rescreening, the licensed health care provider in charge of the screening shall, within 30 days, report the result of the screening to the administrator of the Division of Services for the Blind and to the Special Education Supervisor, indicating that specialized services may be indicated. Students identified with a visual impairment shall be referred for specialized services and follow-up. A student's vision screening results shall be recorded in the "Vision Screening" section of the school health record. Rhode Island Regulation ยง16-21-10